Some things ago, a Pastor in the United State, Corey Turner, had the word insight tattooed on his right forearm and all hell was let loose. He came under heavy attack by religious people who questioned why a pastor of a church should have a tattoo on his body and labelled him a sinner. I am certain if that pastor was to be a Nigerian, he would have been branded a devil by fellow Christians.
But the big question is what makes wearing tattoo is sin. And is there any scripture that condemns it?
Before I go into the meat of the issue, let me first say that there are far more important issues to be pre-occupied with as a Christian. Preaching the gospel to people who are heading towards a Christ-less eternity is a far more important issue to be concerned about.
People who would look at someone getting a tattoo as being ‘sinful’, unholy or irreverent are saying in essence that they are an outcast and God is against them. In fact, some church culture’s in the past have polarised the tattoo wearing clan as being a bunch of demon-worshipping sinners but please show me one scripture that validates this perspective.
But I can point to a couple of scripture that shows that not only does God not regard wearing tattoo as sinful, one of the verses actually reveals that God himself has tattooed our names on his body. For example in Isaiah 44 vs 5 (KJV) say “One shall say, I am the Lord's; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the Lord, and surname himself by the name of Israel.”
Here is the Amplified Version of same scripture.“One will say, ‘I am the Lord’s’; And another will name himself after Jacob; And another will write on his hand, ‘I am the Lord’s,’ And be called by the [honorable] name of Israel.”
In other translation, the word “write” was clearly written as “tatooed”. In essence this scripture is clearly an encouragement for God’s people to get a tattoo.
God also has a tattoo
In Isaiah 49:16 (Living Bible), The bible says, “See, I have tattooed your name upon my palm, and ever before me is a picture of Jerusalem’s walls in ruins.”
I don’t think anybody can argue with the wisdom of this scripture. It unambiguously says that God has our names tattooed on his palm as a way of assuring us that we are never forgotten.
Let me add that I don’t believe that the scripture is talking about God having physical tattoo, because God is a spirit. But what we can take out for here is that God does not see the issue of tattoo in the way some religious folks see it.
Most of the religious folks refer to Leviticus 19:28 which says, “You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves.” But they will carefully avoid verses like v26 and 27 which forbid eating any meat with blood in it and cutting your hair. It’s just so funny that the very people who would criticise others for getting a tattoo cut their hair quite regularly.
You can’t embrace one scripture and ignore another just because it suits your argument…that’s called proof-texting and leads to a false interpretation of Scripture.
More so the reason why Jesus cam was to free us from the burden of the law. As new testament we are no longer bound by Leviticus 19:28. We have been freed from it and its consequence. Praise God.
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